Chairman Phil Mendelson Councilmember David Grosso
Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie Councilmember Charles Allen
Councilmember Mary M. Cheh Councilmember Vincent Orange
Councilmember Jack Evans Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau
Councilmember Anita Bonds Councilmember Yvette Alexander
Councilmember Elissa Silverman
IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
To prohibit the suspension or expulsion of a student of pre-kindergarten age from any publicly funded pre-kindergarten program; and to establish annual reporting requirements for each local education agency on suspensions and expulsions data.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the “Pre-K Student Discipline Amendment Act of 2015”.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
For the purposes of this act, the term:
(1) “Local education agency” means the District of Columbia Public Schools system or any individual or group of public charters schools operating under a single charter.
(2) “Pre-K” means the educational gradation available to children of pre-kindergarten age for the 2 years prior to their eligibility for enrollment in kindergarten.
(3) “Pre-K age” means children 3 or 4 years of age, and children who become 5 years of age after September 30th of the upcoming school year.
(4) “Pre-K education program” means a classroom or a group of classrooms serving Pre-K children. A single organization or entity may operate multiple Pre-K programs in different locations.
(5) “Serious bodily injury” shall have the same meaning as provided in section 615(k)(7)(D) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (18 U.S.C. 1365(h)(3)).
(6) “Suspension” means the removal of a student from class attendance or school attendance for a specified period of time.
Sec. 3. (a) Title 38 of the District of Columbia Official Code is amended by adding the new section 38-276.01 to read as follows:
“§ 38-276.01. Discipline for Pre-K Age Students.
“(a) Beginning school year 2015-2016, a student of Pre-K age shall not be suspended or expelled from any publicly funded community-based organization, District of Columbia Public School, and/or Public Charter School who provide Pre-K care and education services to Pre-K age children, unless it is determined by a school or program administrator that the student has committed one of the following acts:
(1) Willfully caused or attempted to cause, or threatened serious bodily injury to another person, except in self-defense;
(2) Possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished a firearm, knife, explosive, or other dangerous object; or
(3) Unlawfully possessed, used, sold, or otherwise furnished, or been under the influence of, a controlled substance, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind.”
“(b) By July 1, 2015, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall issue guidelines on this section including recommendations on the length of a suspension if it is determined that a student of Pre-K age committed one of the acts outlined in subsection (a).”
Sec. 4. Reporting Requirements.
(a) By July 15 of each year, each local education agency shall submit a report to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education on all suspensions and expulsions which occurred during the preceding school year disaggregated by campus, grade level, gender, and race. The report should include:
(1) The students suspended for 1-10 days;
(2) The students suspended for more than 10 days total;
(3) The students who received more than one 10 day suspension;
(4) The suspensions that involved special education students;
(5) The students that were referred to an Alternative Educational Setting for the course of a suspension;
(6) The students expelled; and
(7) A description of the types of action(s) that led to the suspension or expulsion, if not a category required to report by the Federal government.
(b) Each local education agency shall provide the requested data in subsection (a) in a form and manner prescribed by the Office of the State of Superintendent of Education.
Sec. 5. Fiscal impact statement.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(3)).
Sec. 6. Effective date.
This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.